The Rise of MRD Testing and the Field of Fragmentomics with Sugganth Daniel, Invitae

Sugganth Daniel, Director of Oncology Medical Affairs, Invitae

Bio and Contact Info


0:00 Personal path to cell free DNA testing in oncology

5:34 What is the promise of MRD testing?

12:47 What does it take to be included in the guidelines?

17:21 How are you building quantification standards?

25:28 The new field of fragmentomics

31:18 Biden’s new plan for ARPA-H

"There's an entire field of fragmentomics with a whole lot of people working on it. The DNA which is shed into the bloodstream has a certain length. The length of ctDNA is shorter than cfDNA, and depending on where the cancer cell is located, the fragment size and pattern is different. So you can actually deduce information about the tissue of origin from the fragment length and pattern. And that's just the beginning."

That's Sugganth Daniel on today's show. He's the Director of Medical Affairs in Oncology at genetic testing company, Invitae, and he is passionate about the new field of "fragmentomics."

Sugganth says that his interest in cell free DNA began in obstetrics when he studied the now legendary papers of Dennis Lo out of Hong Kong. These papers have also spawned an entire field of new research and now clinical testing in cancer.

One of the new tests out are minimal residual testing or MRD which is used to see if a cancer patient's treatment is working and to guide follow up treatment. We discuss Invitae's new MRD program with Sugganth: What is the promise going forward? Will it be better than CT scanning? When might it be part of the guidelines? How is Invitae building up quantification standards?

We also discuss President Biden's new initiative for cancer research announced in his recent State of the Union address.